March 24, 2009
Via Geoff Edgers, John Mellencamp on how the corporatization of America has wrecked the music industry. I agree with a lot of this, although I think it's complicated by the fact that the rise of the popular music industry was also fueled by an economic quirk: the post-WWII increase in adolescent disposable income. Corporate money started flooding into pop music in the 1950s, even if the corporations had no clue about the content—it just took a while for technology to render that ignorance moot. And, for the record, I can sing the chorus to "All I Want For Christmas Is You," and frequently do, at seasonally inappropriate times.
The winners of the first Guthman Musical Instrument Competition were announced earlier this month. None of them, though, I'm betting, are as big as the Mid-Hudson Bridge, which Joseph Bertolozzi turned into percussion to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's journey up the eponymous river. (I'm still trying to imagine what that initial $2.2 million budget would have entailed.)
Singing astronomer! I'm a big enough nerd to get behind that. Have you ever drunkenly confused Messier and Messaien? I have. (Take a listen here.)
And "Beverly Hills Housewife," David Hockney's portrait of patron Betty Freeman, is expected to bring $7-10 million when it's auctioned in May.
Posted by Matthew at 11:00 AM